14 May 2013 16:54

 NICOSIA – Stabilising the economy is a top priority, House President Yiannakis Omirou has said, noting that the Bank of Cyprus is at the core of that effort.

In statements on Tuesday after a meeting with President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, Omirou said the President briefed him on important issues as regards both the economy and the Cyprus issue.

Replying to a question about the Cyprus issue, he noted that the government’s position is that due to the economic crisis any kind of process regarding the solution of the Cyprus issue cannot start before the autumn.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN led talks, ongoing since 2008, were interrupted by the Turkish Cypriot side in the summer of 2012 as the Republic of Cyprus assumed the EU Council rotating Presidency on July 1.

Asked whether during a meeting of the National Council on Wednesday the main opposition left wing AKEL party is expected to present its proposal to exit the euro zone, he said that all political parties will have the chance to present their views on matters relating to the economy.

He stressed that what must be a top priority at the moment is the “immediate stabilization” of the economic situation and the normalization of economic prospects and the banking sector, with specific focus on the Bank of Cyprus.

The House President also referred to recent accusations Cyprus has had to face regarding allegations for money laundering, noting that the Eurogroup’s conclusions yesterday show that all allegations made were “libelous, defamatory and unfair.” Cyprus’ institutional framework on dealing with financial crime is adequate, however it needs to improve on its implementation, he noted.

“Will anyone have the courage to apologise?”, he wondered.

The Eurogroup welcomes the completion of the independent assessments of compliance with the anti-money laundering framework in Cyprus, a Eurogroup statement issued on Monday evening said. “The Troika institutions have reported the key findings to the Eurogroup, and recommendations to rectify deficiencies will be integrated in the AML action plan to be agreed between the Troika institutions and the Cypriot authorities at the time of the first review”, the statement added.


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